Police in the Philippines scored a major bust when they uncovered more than 1,600 geckos in an illegal warehouse in the southern part of the country. Authorities suspect that the lizards were to be smuggled into other Asian Countries.
Illegal trade in geckos has been increasing steadily in the Philippines, fueled by demand at traditional medicine markets in China, South Korea and Malaysia. There, the dried bodies of lizards are thought to be the base of remedies for everything from asthma, AIDS, and cancer to tuberculosis and impotence.
Black market trade in animal parts used in traditional medicine is the source of many poaching and smuggling efforts worldwide. Species as diverse as rhinoceros, tigers, and seahorses are also threatened by the growing demand in East and South East Asian markets.
Read more about the traditional medicine trade:
Does Protecting Endangered Rhinos Conflict With Traditional Chinese Medicine?
The Gruesome Impact of Traditional Medicine
World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies Reject Tiger Bones